At A Place for Mom, we see ourselves truly as your partner – referring families to you, expanding the visibility of senior living for families prior to their search, and providing impactful industry and consumer insights.
In addition to providing community-specific results to participating organizations, we analyze the data to look for aggregate trends: what can we learn from top-performing partners so that our industry as a whole can connect with more families to grow move-ins?
The Secret Shop provides actionable industry insights and unique data for our partners to help improve sales effectiveness and increase move-in conversion rates.
Over 3,700 partner communities from 139 organizations participated in the eighth annual “Secret Shop” with A Place for Mom this spring.
There are three consistent keys to move-in conversion success with A Place for Mom leads:
- Method of outreach
- Collaboration with Advisors
- Speed to Lead
Last year we sent an additional lead to each community to test their efforts when the family wanted to communicate over email instead of voice-to-voice, which is an increasing cohort across all of APFM-referred families. This year we are able to present year over year results to illustrate the industry’s adaptation to this new communication preference.
Persistent Follow Up
Persistence is another powerful indicator of higher move-in conversion. This time in a family member’s life can be enormously stressful, which can contribute to the family not responding to your first contact attempt right away. Giving them multiple reminders, using different methods of communication, increases your odds at reaching them and having a conversation.
This effect is stronger for families that include a phone number with their inquiry, but as you can see, persistence is important whether responding to a family that has opted to communicate by phone and one that has opted to communicate via email.
Quick Tip: Our most successful partners know that today’s families are busy, and they utilize a number of contact methods and outreach attempts to connect with a family quickly – they stagger their differing approaches throughout the first few days, whether a voice-to-voice call, text message or email.
Methods of Outreach to Families
More and more families using A Place for Mom’s service are comfortable using their smartphones to manage their everyday lives. They are connected more, but often unable to pick up a phone call.
This year we looked at texting and evaluated the historical Win Rate of communities that sent a text message to the fictitious lead and compared that to the historical Win Rate of communities that did not use texting. Our data suggests that adding texting to your follow up protocol can increase your odds of connecting with a family and building the relationship in a way that works for them.
Sales professionals who use texting had a 25.6% higher share of move-ins than those who did not.
At A Place for Mom we are modifying our tools to address how families are using our service, whether that is making our sites mobile-friendly, developing smartphone apps, or adding texting into our Advisors’ regular follow up.
Collaborating with the Referring Advisors
A Place for Mom values its team of local Advisors who help to support our customers in their efforts to move families into their communities. A Place for Mom Advisors follow up with a family throughout their senior living search to provide additional support, resources and encouragement to help them to make a decision. Our Advisors and top-performing partners work together in helping families come to a decision on senior living, strategizing together on individual families to support them in their journey.
Many of our partners share that if they haven’t uncovered a particular concern or objection from a family, that the family will likely share that concern with their A Place for Mom Advisor. Building that relationship will help streamline your own efforts and give you the information you need to provide the family with the best solution.
We have found that communities that made any attempt to contact the referring Advisor have up to 35.5% higher share of move-ins than communities that did not attempt to contact the Advisor.
Speed to Lead
The importance of speed to lead is understood and valued across sales professionals, but making sure that all communities across an organization achieve this standard can be difficult to manage. Our shop strives to illustrate not only the importance of speed, but the extent of how many communities are able to reach families first.
This Secret Shop found 49% of communities responded within 2 hours, highlighting the importance of striving to reach new leads within 30 minutes to set yourself apart from your competitors.
During the stressful and complicated search for the right senior living solution, families appreciate someone who is attentive and thoughtful about their needs. Making sure that you have the freedom to focus on potential residents first and foremost will increase your availability to be the first person to address a need.
Communities who respond to our leads within the first 30 minutes have a 15.0% higher share of move-ins than those of communities that respond within 24 hours.
Communities who follow-up within the first 2 hours have a 12.6% higher share of move-ins than those of communities that respond within 24 hours.
Best Practices to Respond Quickly
Communities with the fastest response rate have several things in common:
- They include multiple people to the referral alerts
When multiple people at the community receive the referral alerts, it ensures that the family will receive a response on the weekends, evenings, or when the sales professional is unavailable.
- The sales professional is solely focused on sales
The most successful communities allow their sales professionals to work on leads full time without any other day-to-day operations responsibilities.
- They set benchmarks for response time and are accountable to them
Setting goals and benchmarks as a team help build an environment for success and ensure everyone is working together to reach a common goal. The benchmark is known across the organization and monitored closely to identify and remove any barriers that might get in the way of fast response times.
- They receive leads directly into their CRM
When partners sign up for Partner Web Services, a free service through A Place for Mom, they typically see a 10-15% increase in Win Rates partially because the lead is automatically entered into their CRM which empowers the team to reach out quickly, saving the time of manually entering the lead information.
To view the full report, click here.
The Secret Shop measures the speed and persistence of response to each fictitious lead sent to the participating communities as well as engagement efforts with the Advisor. Speed of response is calculated based on the time from lead release until initial contact by the community, persistence by the number of contact attempts made within the 3-day Secret Shop, and number of outreach attempts to the Advisor to measure collaboration efforts.